Bedsores & Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing homes are meant to be safe environments for seniors, places where they can be cared for and protected. Unfortunately, many nursing homes neglect the very people they are meant to champion and, through that neglect, threaten the well-being of their residents.

An explanation of bedsores (decubitus ulcers)

Bedsores develop when continuous pressure restricts circulation to areas of the body. Areas of the buttocks, hips, and heels are the most common sites where bedsores develop. Restricted or inadequate blood flow to the affected tissue can eventually cause that tissue to die. Nursing home residents who are bedridden or wheelchair-bound and cannot change their body position may develop serious bedsores, which can cause infections and become life-threatening without treatment.

There are four stages of bedsores:

• Stage 1 bedsores are minor and manifest as redness of the skin.
• Stage 2 bedsores manifest as blisters or abrasions on the skin.
• Stage 3 bedsores cause damage to the full thickness of the skin.
• Stage 4 bedsores extend into the muscle, tendons, and bone.

Through regular preventive care, most bedsores can be avoided by:

• Keeping the patient’s skin clean and dry
• Changing the patient’s position every two hours
• Providing exercise and rehabilitation time for patients
• Keeping patients well-nourished and hydrated
• Using pillows and other devices to relieve pressure

Understaffed nursing homes or facilities with improperly trained caregivers and/or neglectful staff often have a higher incidence of patients with nursing home injuries and can be held legally liable.

Get legal assistance

If your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help. Contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call (410) 441-5054 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.